Q: Key won't turn after installing new ignition cylinder and ignition lock. Need help polishing things off.

asked by on October 05, 2016

I installed a brand new ignition cylinder and ignition lock. Before installing and while the battery was disconnected, the key turned fine though stiff (I'm using my original key rather than the blanks as advised). Everything seemed/seems fine.

I connected the battery and turned the key forward and back to see how it felt. When I went all the way back, it locked and won't budge any more. The steering wheel is also locked, so I tried turning it while turning the key with no luck. I tried tapping the cylinder, putting it into neutral, and tried the blank keys that came with the cylinder. I'm not sure what else to do.

There is power in the car, 1 month old battery with a new ground cable and inserting the key causes the car to "ding ding ding"... nothing else works. That's where I'm at.

I'm also a tad confused about what to do about the keys. I was told to just use my old keys by 1 mechanic and 1 said use the tumblers from my old cylinder, and more conflicting info.

My car has 214000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there:

This problem tends to occur when an aftermarket ignition cylinder is used for the replacement project. The inner lock housing sometimes doesn’t always fit flush to OEM steering columns, which can create the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Here are the directions on how to replace an ignition cylinder article, you should check out. The best option is to remove the old one, and start from scratch. Verify that you’re using an OEM replacement cylinder; as aftermarket parts typically cause more hassle than help in this case.

If you need assistance with fixing this issue, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home to diagnose the issue with your key firsthand for an accurate repair.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

Water leak on the leff rear floor, 2000 buick lesabre it has 26000 miles

If there is no perforation in the sheet metal, due to rust for example, leaks like that you are describing are due to failed seals. Water can travel, so it takes a bit of tracking (back tracking) to find the...

Transmission slip, car bucking, code P0741

Hey there. This may be related to a fuel supply issue such as a dirty or failing mass air flow sensor. This is a unit in the intake system that reads the air flow into the engine as it is...

Truck stalling.

This might be a problem with the theft deterrent system, if you have another key you might try using that, otherwise you might need a certified mechanic to scan for engine codes and verify that the oil pressure switch is...

Blower motor resistor melted, replaced it turned on blower motor and it melted again in seconds.

The blower motor that is drawing too many amperes will melt the resistor and wiring. Anytime the resistor is melted you should replace the blower along with the resistor and connections that show any heat damage. If you need assistance...

My 2003 Ford Mondeo won't move when I put it in gear

Generally with a manual transmission, if you are able to select all gears but the vehicle does not move when releasing the clutch pedal, in all likelihood the clutch is worn to the point of requiring replacement. Sometimes you will...

Warning lights came on, and then power steering and fans don't work

I suspect that the issue is in the ignition system or control modules not communicating properly with each other. Disconnecting the battery will reset the computer modules but will not fix the issue. I would recommend taking the vehicle to...

Car not starting.

The ignition system on these cars is a very common problem causing no starts. The fuel pumps are the next most common problem causing the no start. My suggestion is to have a qualified technician check the ignition and fuel...

Car battery is fully charged and the car is receiving no power, it wont start and none of the in or outside lights are working.

Hello there, problems starting are one of the most common issues with your 2000 Pontiac Bonneville. The first place to start when the vehicle will not start properly is to have the battery load tested, this is a test checks...

Sway bar broken

If the sway bar is broken I would recommend having the sway bar and/or sway bar links replaced. The sway bar keeps the vehicle level during turns and prevents either side from dipping in while turning. This improves the overall...

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Ignition Lock Assembly
If your key is stuck in the ignition, won't go in, or can't start the car, you may need to replace the ignition lock assembly.
How Long Does an Ignition Lock Assembly Last?
In In order for a car to start properly, it will need to have a functional ignition lock assembly. This assembly is where your car key will go in and helps to turn on the interior lights, as well as...
How to Diagnose an Ignition Key That Won’t Turn
If your car key won't turn in the ignition and your steering wheel locks it's easy to fix. Try jiggling the steering wheel and checking the battery.